Meet the infamous Zak on ITLoW!

April 6, 2009 at 7:28 am 9 comments

zak-and-meAnywhere else in the world, a person of the caliber of  Zaheer Alam Kidvai, better known as Zak, would have been recognized as a true visionary. If you have had the chance to spend some time chatting with Zak, or you know of some of the things he has done over the years, you will no doubt understand what I mean.

Some may not view him as the epitome of success simply because he has not accumulated millions of dollars but, in his book, just making money was never what it was all about.

As he himself points out, he lives by Buckminster Fuller’s dictum:

You have to decide early, whether you want to make money or you want to make sense.

Well, Zak obviously decided he wanted to make sense. He ran away to sea when he was 17 and became a Master Mariner (which, by the way, involved a lot more study than college did).

From a Captain in the merchant navy to a Technology Consultant – the switch happened 20 years ago when Zak decided to change career tracks and began to introduce the use of  Technology in Education in Pakistan, eventually pioneering New Media in this country as early as the late eighties.

the ETeamHe started the first New Media Department at the Hamdard Institute of Information Technology, Karachi – where New Media was taught as a subject for the first time. He opened up the minds of his students and created in them an excitement and a passion to discover and explore. He taught them that to be good technologists, an understanding of design, form and content, an understanding of how things worked, how to conceptualize solutions to problems that existed, were all very important. He got his students to question and to think rather than accept whatever he fed them in terms of knowledge. Many of us, who sat in his class as observers, wondered why we hadn’t had such a teacher when we were in school. It would certainly have made learning much more interesting and a lot more fun.

zakZak is able to talk on any subject more knowledgeably than any PhD I have ever met. Of course the subject must interest him enough for him to have done indepth research on it. I have heard him converse on a variety of diverse topics from music to electronics, literature to religion, philosophy to science, photography to art, etc etc. There is nothing the man does not know. 🙂

My interview with Zak required very little effort on my part. All one has to do to get Zak started is put him in front of an audience, or as in this case – in front of a camera, and you have a show (or two)! 🙂 He is an amazing storyteller and an avid blogger. (Don’t miss the thought bubble on his t-shirt which reads “I think therefore I’m dangerous).

In this episode of ITLoW, he talks about New Media and how it has evolved in Pakistan. He takes us through the early days – the first applications we built at Enabling Technologies, the experiences, the amazing amount of fun that we had as we went through many firsts, and delivered some wonderful products. This is the first of a two part series. The next episode will run on Friday.

Entry filed under: Posts.

Do you really want to think outside the box? What set Jawwad Farid off?

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Zakintosh  |  April 6, 2009 at 8:09 am

    How embarrassing!

  • 2. Meet the infamous Zak on ITLoW! / LiveFromPakistan  |  April 6, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Meet the infamous Zak on ITLoW!…

  • 3. Khwaja Naveed  |  April 6, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Zak Sb.,
    The bubble on your t-shirt reminds me your quote, “They laugh at me because I am different; I laugh at them because they are all the same”

    I salute your comprehension !

  • 4. Meet the infamous Zak on ITLoW! | Tea Break  |  April 6, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    […] This cup of tea was served by: In the Line of Wire […]

  • 5. tony afzal  |  April 6, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    ZAK and I have been close friends for a long time now and I have keenly followed his achievements and accomplishments. He is undoubtedly the most well-informed and intelligent person I know and not know.

    Some of this of course has rubbed off on him because of his close accociation with me and another bright intellectual, Dr, Masood Ali, now practicing medicine in Australia- which leads one to wonder that if doctors all over are practicing mediine, when will they be considered having practiced enough to exercise their skills? And how long will we, as patients, be guinea pigs on whom they practice?

  • 6. Jehan  |  April 6, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    @Tony welcome to my blog. You are someone I have heard Zak talk about for years – aaah the stories he tells of your escapades. Betcha he could write a book! 😉

    I have often wondered about doctors practicing medicine too – and if they are practising, shouldn’t they be paying us rather than the other way around?

  • 7. Admin  |  April 7, 2009 at 12:30 am

    loved the interview…it was a great discussion..made me want to work with you guys in the early 90’s and own a mac back then…heheh!

  • 8. Tahseen Tahir  |  April 7, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Sir, Zak has been most inspiring teacher in my life. As a teacher at HIIT, he was full of life and enthusiasm. He was the person who made me believe I have potentials to do something in my life. I wish I had a chance in life to work with him and learn the differences. I thank you and wish you all the best.


  • 9. How I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days  |  April 29, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!


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